061: The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Leaders Generate Great Ideas | with David Burkus

by Joe Sherwood on October 24, 2013

The Myths of CreativityCreativity is the starting point for all innovation, and most organizations rely on innovation to create a competitive advantage. Innovation is necessary for the successful development and implementation of new programs or better products. Because of this, leaders of organizations in all industries are asking more questions about creativity. Where does it come from? How can we get more of it? Where do we find creative people? All these questions are valid, but the myths about creativity often lead us to the wrong answers. In order to lead innovation efforts, we must have a better understanding of where creativity comes from and how to enhance the creativity of the people we lead.

David Burkus is an assistant professor of management for the College of Business at Oral Roberts University, where he teaches courses on creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and organizational behavior. He is the founder and editor of LDRLB, an online publication (which includes one of Jesse’s favorite podcasts) that shares insights from research on leadership, innovation, and strategy. In his brand-new book The Myths of Creativity, David demystifies the processes that drive innovation.

In this episode, David and Jesse discuss several mistaken ideas that hold us back — as well as how anyone can embrace a practical approach to finding the best new ideas, projects, processes, and programs. David outlines components necessary to drive innovation:

  • Domain-relevant skills (commonly called expertise) are the knowledge, technical skills, or talent an individual possesses in a given domain.
  • Creativity-relevant processes are the methods people use to approach a given problem and generate solutions.
  • Task motivation is the willingness to engage. Simply put, it is passion.
  • Social environment is the only component that exists entirely outside the individual. Research shows that the environment an individual operates in can either positively or negatively affect creative expression.

Jesse and David also answer a question from the Engaging Leader Community:

Leslie asks: Last year, I read an article in New Yorker that agrees with your debunking of the brainstorming myth. What is your favorite process or tip that would replace standard brainstorming?

Burkus QuoteResources Mentioned in This Episode

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